Archive for the tag 'gravesend neck rd'

Two hundred years ago this week, the now historic village of Gravesend was rocked by a violent and tragic outburst that may have been the town’s first murder-suicide.

The bicentennial was first noted by historian and friend of the site Joseph Ditta, who posted on his blog of Gravesend history about two gravestones in the 364-year-old Gravesend Cemetery at Gravesend Neck Road and McDonald Avenue.

Ditta came across two stones, cracked and flaking with age, baring the names of 2-year-old Barnardus Ryder and his father, Jacobus Ryder. The Ryders died just 10 days apart, with the child passing on May 29, 1814, and the elder on June 8, 1814.

At first, Ditta writes, one might assume the two were killed by a “contagion [that] carried off multiple relatives, as [illnesses] did for eons before the advent of standardized sanitation and medical care.”

But on further research, Ditta discovered this wasn’t the case. He writes:

[A]ssumptions often prove dangerously wrong. On Monday, May 30, 1814, the day after little Barnardus Ryder died, readers of the Commercial Advertiser, one of New York City’s leading newspapers, stumbled across this shocking report from the otherwise tranquil reaches of southern Kings County:

New York, Commercial Advertiser, Monday, May 30, 1814

Newspapers up and down the eastern seaboard, from New Hampshire to Maryland, and as far inland as Ohio, recounted the tale of Gravesend’s “horrid transaction.” The version printed on June 1 in the Long-Island Star, Brooklyn’s leading weekly, managed to spell “Ryder” correctly, and added the detail that Jacobus — “long esteemed as a worthy and pious man, and . . . apparently in his right mind on the evening previous to the melancholy and dreadful act” — confessed in the letter to his father that he “imagined he heard a voice commanding him to execute the deed.” He lingered, sadly, until June 8, and died at the age of 44 years, three months, and 23 days.

Ditta doesn’t say in his post whether this was Gravesend’s first murder-suicide, but he told Sheepshead Bites that it’s quite possible.

“It very well could have been. It was a shocking story then, and even now, 200 years later,” he said.

By the time of the murder, Gravesend, one of the six original towns that later became Brooklyn, was already nearly 169 years old. But with a population numbering in the hundreds, it’s unlikely that a previous incident would have escaped the attention of record keepers.

The Ryders remain among the borough’s most famous residents, a founding family whose name still adorns streets, schools and libraries. The first Ryder, Barent Jurianz Ryder, emigrated from Holland in 1658. He later married Aeltie Van Voorhies, another familiar surname.

Check out the full story of these headstones and what came of Ryder’s descendants on Ditta’s Gravesend Gazette. You can also read our August 2009 Q&A with Ditta about Gravesend’s history, and check out his book, Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Photo by Alex S.

Photo by Alex S.

It’s been a bad day on Avenue U. Shortly after police reopened the roadway following an accident on Ocean Avenue near Avenue U, another car lost control and slammed into the building at 1907 Avenue U, just narrowly missing the busy storefront of Trio Ristorante Pizza and Grill.

The incident happened at approximately 4:45 p.m.

The section of sidewalk has been closed off with police tape.

It’s still unclear if anyone was injured, as is how the driver lost control.

Just two hours earlier, another driver lost control one block away, slamming into a parked car being loaded up with groceries, injuring that car’s owner.

The accident at Trio’s brought back memories of the 2006 incident, in which a woman lost control of her SUV and plowed into the same storefront. That accident severely wounded a deliveryman, who was pinned to the counter and saw his right leg crushed. A 71-year-old pedestrian was also injured in that accident.

Photo by Laura S.

Photo by Laura S.

Photo by Laura S.

Photo by Laura S.

Photo by Randy C.

Photo by Randy C.

Photo by Randy C.

Photo by Randy C.

Photo by Randy C.

Photo by Randy C.

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UPDATE (6:59 p.m.): Reporter Shimon Gifter was on the scene, and tweeted out some additional details, including the driver saying it was caused by brake failure:

Apparently it was a pretty grisly scene:

UPDATE (4:04 p.m.): The streets have been reopened to traffic.

UPDATE (3:21 p.m.): We’re now receiving word that a driver lost control of a vehicle, slamming into a car in which the owner was loading the trunk. The person loading the car has been hospitalized.

Original story:

A car accident involving at least two vehicles has caused street closures at and around Ocean Avenue and Avenue U.

The accident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Details were not available at the time of this writing, but tipster Randy C. is at the scene, and tells us that one car is totaled, and another has ended up on the sidewalk. He said ambulances were seen transporting at least one victim, possibly a pedestrian, for medical attention.

Police have closed down Ocean Avenue from Avenue U to Gravesend Neck Road, including Avenue V.

We’ll have photos and more information soon.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Photos by Randy C.

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truck-exposing

The pickup truck used in the flashing spree (Source: NYPD)

Cops have arrested a Sea Gate man for exposing himself to several young girls in Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay within the last two weeks.

The story first made headlines last week, when cops revealed they were hunting a man driving a white pickup truck who they believed were responsible for three separate flashing incidents that occurred within the span of 15 minutes.

The spree took place on Monday, March 17, between 7:25 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. The villain chatted up an 11-year-old girl on West 9th Street and Avenue O before flashing his genitals and running off.

Minutes later he turned up on West 7th Street and Bay Parkway and followed a 14-year-old girl into an apartment building, and exposed himself again. Finally, he approached a 13-year-old girl on West 6th Street and 65th Street and again provided a generous but unwanted view of his privates.

Apparently, that wasn’t all. Brooklyn Daily is reporting that police believe the same man flashed a group of 13-year-old girls on the corner of East 24th Street and Gravesend Neck Road on March 11. There is a heavily used playground at that intersection, and an elementary school a block away. The outlet reports that the girls approached the intersection when they came into view of the suspect in the pickup truck, sitting with genitals in public view.

The suspect is charged with burglary, public lewdness, exposure of person and acting in a manner injurious to a minor.

Gravesend Neck Road and East 16th Street (Source: Google Maps)

Gravesend Neck Road and East 16th Street (Source: Google Maps)

Update (1:00 p.m.): The 82-year-old pedestrian did not survive. The victim was transported to Coney Island Hospital, where the person was pronounced dead on arrival, according to the Vision Zero Twitter feed.

Original post:

A driver struck a pedestrian on East 16th Street and Gravesend Neck Road this morning, leaving the pedestrian seriously injured.

The accident happened at approximately 9:30 a.m. The circumstances are not yet known.

Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero Twitter feed is reporting that the victim went into traumatic arrest and is not expected to survive.

The NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad has been dispatched to the scene.

Reader Georgia B. writes in to tell us that Gravesend Neck Road has been closed off from East 15th Street to East 17th Street. It’s not clear if access has been restricted to the Neck Rd B/Q subway station, which is on the same block.

It is at least the second serious pedestrian strike in the Sheepshead Bites coverage area this week. On Tuesday, a 77-year-old woman was struck and killed on East 19th Street and Avenue U.

The 61st Precinct has promised increased traffic safety enforcement as part of the citywide Vision Zero initiative.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

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A woman attempts to pass beneath the B/Q line at Avenue Y, a daunting task.

New York City residents and business owners are required to clear their sidewalks after snow storms or face heavy fines from city authorities. But city agencies have failed to clear many public sidewalks and those abutting government property, suggesting a double standard that puts pedestrians at risk.

With 48 inches of snow falling over the course of 22 days since January 1, deadbeat landlords who’ve failed to shovel paths have become a reviled caricature in New York City. Currently, they could face fines of $150, and a local City Council member has introduced new legislation that would direct city workers to clear private sidewalks and forward the bill to the property owner.

But while city workers may one day be deployed to clear private sidewalks, Sheepshead Bites has found a number of government-owned sidewalks that those same city workers have failed to clear.

Among the worst spots this publication surveyed yesterday are the underpasses of the B/Q Brighton line, all located between East 15th Street and East 16th Street. From Sheepshead Bay Road to Kings Highway, not one of the half dozen underpasses without a subway station had clear paths shoveled on both sides of the street, and even some of those with a subway station were left uncleared. In most locations, the northern side of the street was partially shoveled, while the southern side remained untouched.

Keep reading to learn whose responsibility it is, and view the pictures of their neglect.

bike-accident

Minutes ago, reader Paypaul sent us this photo and tip, saying that a bicyclist was struck by a Department of Sanitation collection truck on Gravesend Neck Road and East 12th Street.

Paypaul wrote:

I was walking up Neck Road going towards the Homecrest Library when I saw the aftermath of this accident involving an NYC Dept of Sanitation truck and a cyclist. The rider didn’t look too badly injured but was holding his hands in front of his face. The sanitation workers were responsible enough to be seen and heard contacting emergency responders. They had not arrived at the time I took the attached photographs. I’m not certain in which direction the cyclist was going but the bicycle was underneath the front tires of the sanitation truck.

He added that the accident happened between 11:00 a.m. and 11:20 a.m.

We’re seeing what we can find out about the incident. Drive, walk and cycle safely, folks.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Photo by PayPaul

Photo by PayPaul

This evening marks the first night of Sukkot, and observant Jewish families across the community are erecting booths – called a sukkah – where they will gather, eat and (in some cases) sleep for the next seven days.

Some neighbors, however, are irked by one storefront congregation’s sukkah, which bulks out into the middle of the sidewalk.

Congregation Bnei Shelomo Vyaffa at 1305 Gravesend Neck Road has set up a sukkah that takes as much as two-thirds of the sidewalk, leaving less room for pedestrians to slip by.

Reader PayPaul sent us the following e-mail, expressing his displeasure:

Could this Jewish Temple on Neck Road and East 13th Street shown some more tact and respect towards their neighbors by informing them in advance of their installation of a Sukkot tent that blocks the sidewalk considerably in front of their East 13th Street entrance? They could have at least apologized for the inconvenience in advance. That would have gone a long way in ameliorating any upset people.

You and others have to see it for yourselves. I even asked them about it. First they claimed to have a permit and then changed their story to say the 61st precinct told them it wasn’t worth the time as it would take too long to process. Meanwhile I know their next door neighbor is very upset over it. Imagine some elderly or handicapped people trying to get by this obstacle?

Another person took to Reddit to say the same:

It’s that time of year again! Sukkot. My friend took this picture of a Sukkot Tent outside of a business in Brooklyn. I live in Midwood so I see these everywhere but it’s usually on residential property and not always out on the sidewalk like this.

I know that certain laws have variances and loopholes for religious observance but I’m not sure this qualifies as legal. IT’s a pretty unsafe obstruction! My dad used to get tickets because he had a SIGN on the Sidewalk by the Curb. This just can’t be legal can it?

Anyone have more info on the issue?

We reached out the Department of Buildings to find out if there are any regulations concerning this. They said they do not oversee the construction of structures this small, but that we should reach out to the Department of Transportation to see if they have any policy’s regarding the sidewalk use. We haven’t yet heard back from them.

We could not find contact information for the congregation to seek their input.

Until we hear back, we ask our readers to remember that New York City’s greatness is predicated on its diversity. The city government makes occasional, understandable exceptions to accommodate the various religious, ethnic and cultural needs of its residents. Sometimes, a balance needs to be struck between meeting those needs and the needs of the bustling masses at large.

It’s not for us at Sheepshead Bites to say whether this sukkah is too large, or poses a danger to those with disabilities (in fact, I’m more bothered by the garbage against the utility pole, which, if it were not there, would give far more space for passersby). If neighbors are bothered by the structure, we hope they continue to politely press the issue with the congregation, and in the future the congregation look to make adjustments to address those concerns.

Who knows? Sukkot is a holiday in which those who celebrate are encouraged to invite neighbors and friends to their sukkah for food, drink and celebration. Maybe if you politely mention your concerns, you’ll be invited inside for a drink, and then it won’t seem large enough.

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Photo by Lisanne

fire

Source: Benjamin Grynsztajn

Firefighters rushed to the corner of Gravesend Neck Road and East 22nd Street yesterday evening to combat a blaze sparked in Tsimes, Inc., a local deli.

The fire broke out shortly before 9:00 p.m. in the 2124 Gravesend Neck Road deli itself, which was closed at the time, and spread to the residential apartments above, a firefighter told our tipster Benjamin Grynsztajn.

The all hands fire was brought under control within approximately 45 minutes. It did not appear as if anyone was hurt, although officials have not provided confirmation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

vendors

Photo by Steve Barrison

A frustrated Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group, sent out this e-mail to local pols and Sheepshead Bites last night, demanding action against the illegal vendors hawking strawberries, blueberries and other items at the Sheepshead Bay Road entrance to the Sheepshead Bay subway station.

This was taken with my cell on a random week day evening after rush hour in front of the Sheepshead Bay subway station. This has been a complaint we have heard from local merchants afraid to complain publicly fearing they will be retaliated against.

It is many boxes of fruit. There was also much litter and many empty boxes are even piled up across the street left on the sidewalk near our BIG mural under the elevated subway.(East 15th Street)

Is this legal? What kind of permits are needed in front of the entrance/exit to the subway? Can the NYPD, DCA or whoever, do anything? Who enforces this? This has gone on for a very long time.

Clearly this hurts our neighborhood small businesses who pay significant rent for their fruit stands in a brick and mortar store.

Is this being investigated?

The filth alone deserves to be addressed and the legality and public safety too.

We can back up the fact that there’s a lot of grumbling about these vendors, and not just from business owners. We’ve received e-mails and photos from readers fed up with the garbage they leave around. And it’s not a new problem; way back in 2011 we published photos of the boxes of rotting fruits they left abandoned near the Neck Road station, and we’ve also seen their trash adjacent to the empty MTA-owned lot on East 15th Street, between Avenue Y and Avenue Z.

As for who is responsible for cracking down on these guys? If they’re unlicensed, it’s the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) – although there’s precedent for the local police precinct to do enforcement as well. In Sheepshead Bay, the 61st Precinct gives illegal flower vendors the boot on Valentine’s Day. In Brighton Beach, the 60th Precinct does it all year round. The Department of Sanitation is also responsible for busting them for the illegal commercial dumping they appear to be doing when they toss their trash in public places and empty lots.

Oh, and all those links in bold in the paragraph above? Those take you to the contact pages for each of the agencies so you can make your own complaint. You may also want to try Community Board 15, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitzs office and Councilman Michael Nelson‘s office.

UPDATE (2:59 p.m.): We heard from Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s office noting that he is working with the Health Department to shut down and remove the illegal vendors and that the department will be sending an inspector out.

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